Psyched-Out Down Under

What hath Tame Impala wrought? A deep dive into the soft weird underbelly of current Australian neo-psychedelia, from King Gizzard and Hiatus Kaiyote to Rolling Blackouts and Tropical Fuck Storm.

Never-Before-Seen June 1974 Concert Footage of the Who

Shot by Barbara Wolf on Super 8 from an orchestra seat at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Don’t know which one of the four shows it was. These three reels have been sitting in a box in a series of closets for 48 years, and I just thought to have them digitized. For more Who…

Nell Davies: Happy Birthday

Nell Davies is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from rural Cornwall. Already in her 40s, she started making music in late 2020 after reading Viv Albertine’s memoir inspired her to buy a guitar and begin writing songs. She records in a converted pigsty and produces herself. “Happy Birthday” is her fourth single.

Poly Styrene: Woman on Film

Poly Styrene stormed her way into punk greatness with the opening lines of X-Ray Spex’s first single.
Her band’s 1978 album, Germfree Adolescents, is a classic, avoiding the genre’s traps and standing out through Styrene’s voice and perspective (as well as the unusual choice of including a saxophone in the mix.)

R.E.M.: Nice Guys Still Finish First

From 1992: It’s been ages since anyone over the age of 12 expected perfection from a rock’n’roll band, but the members of R.E.M. have managed to become Genuine Rock Gods without making a public nuisance of themselves.

The Great Lost Stackridge Interview

In this previously unpublished interview from 1975, Dave Schulps meets up with two principals of the enigmatic but often wonderful Stackridge and learns about Mr. Mick, George Martin, garbage bin lids, the Korgis and a dance called the Stanley.

Tears for Fears: The 1989 Interview

In September 1989, the week Tears for Fears released their third album, The Seeds of Love, I interviewed both members of the duo separately for a Rolling Stone feature headlined “Fear of Finishing: How Tears for Fears Took Four Years to Sprout The Seeds of Love.” (Had an editor pored over my interviews, the title might well have included the word “Fussy.”) This interview with Curt Smith details the making of that album.

Rock and Roll Ghosts

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past these days. I’ve also been thinking about records and the stores where I used to buy them. Despite streaming, rents, corruption, consolidation, an epidemic and other deleterious factors, New York still has a number of going concerns, but I recently got it in my head to see what became of the places that are now gone.
While I’m not sure what value these pictures of places that used to house New York City record stores hold, some mixture of nostalgia and curiosity got me out of the house to go photograph them.

Letsagetabitarockin’!

In a never-before published article written in 1976, Pete Silverton gets up close and personal with Joe Strummer and the band that preceded the Clash. “The main reason for seeing the 101’ers is the short stocky guy with cropped dark hair intent on further mutilating his already near-to-death Telecaster — Joe Strummer.”

Brinsley Schwarz Does It ‘Cause He Likes It

There aren’t many other bands named after a member who isn’t the clear frontperson. J. Geils comes first to mind….Manfred Mann…Zumpano… But when Kippington Lodge decided to reinvent themselves in 1969, that’s what they did. They became Brinsley Schwarz.

Eleventh Dream Day Stays in the Game

Since Grazed, the first new studio album in six years from Chicago’s Eleventh Dream Day, came about largely as a result of a musician being sidelined with a serious health problem. But it wasn’t COVID. “I had a severe back injury from playing basketball,” guitarist and vocalist Rick Rizzo explains. “Somebody over 60 [like me] probably shouldn’t be playing with people in their 20s or 30s. A young guy completely ran me over and I got slammed hard into the pavement.”

Liz Phair in Guyville, 1993

“Oh, honey, I have a three-inch stack of notes. I’m not saying that anyone else would get this without my explanation but I absolutely did that. If anyone wants to take the time and sit down with my notes, I would [explain it]. I said it because it’s true; and it mattered to me, but I think people would prefer to keep their own images. It makes for a richer structure, and people can tell there’s thought in it, but I don’t think anyone really cares.”

Sparks, 1975 + 1990

On the occasion of Sparks’ first tour of America in 1975, TP spoke to Ron and Russel Mael. They were articulate, intelligent and totally convinced that they have no equals, musically, in the British charts.

Milton Berle on Elvis Presley

Milton Berle was a legend, a figure so engrained in American culture and yet so far outside my cultural world that talking to him on the phone about Elvis Presley in 1997 didn’t quite feel real. He was old and hard of hearing but completely capable of reeling off ancient anecdotes.

Jack White Rocks Himself Out of His Socks

“The shows I like the most are when we’re trying to win somebody over,” says Jack White, “When they’re yelling at us, that really gets me going.” Right now, the White Stripes are definitely going. The Detroit duo is indie rock’s great white hope, and audiences are falling for them like a punch-drunk boxer throwing a fight. The guy standing with his wife behind the sound board heard one song on a college radio station, bought the White Stripes’ current album, White Blood Cells, and drove in from Connecticut for the first of their three sold-out New York shows. He’s not disappointed.

John Lydon: To the Core

I met John Lydon in a New York hotel room on a promotional tour for his first memoir. Although it was a fruitful interview, he ate sushi while we spoke and displayed an overt display of scorn that could have been better saved for someone with a lot less admiration and respect for him and his music…

Music in a Word: 50 Years on a Rock and Roll Soapbox

Why do I write about music? Why does anyone? I’ve given that question a lot of thought and I have discerned subliminal motives that are less than flattering. On one hand, it’s the desire to share what moves me, to offer the benefit of serious consideration and historical knowledge to the young and curious. On a deeper level, however, it springs from a desire to be accepted and appreciated, to establish standing in the world that I hungered for as a child.